6th February 2020 Hodder & Stoughton (Hardback)
When a development in South London catches fire mid-construction, a close-knit team of fire fighters runs in to save a man spotted at the window.
They come out without a body. They quit the service. They plan never to speak to each other again.
Five years later one of them is set alight at his own wedding. Soon after, a second is found, nothing but a smoking corpse. It appears that someone knows what they did that night. What they chose over their duty. And there are still three men left to burn…
DI Alex Finn and his new partner DC Mattie Paulsen are an unlikely pairing, but they need to discover who is behind these killings before the next man faces the fire.
This is the first in Will Shindler’s gritty Finn and Paulsen series – a British detective series that ranks with Mark Billingham, M.J. Arlidge, Stuart Macbride.
A strong writing debut and an exciting new crime series – do I need to say more? What did I like? Everything! A comprehensive plot formed the back bone of this book, suspicious circumstances when looked at closely – a team of five firefighters all retire in quick succession, some unusually young to be making such a career change. But now they appear to be targeted, burnt to death in aa horrifyingly personal manner. Feels like revenge, but the remaining men aren’t talking and what happened in that building five years ago continues to be a mystery.
The story is told predominately in current time although it commences with the mighty fire five years previous. Weaved through the story are some interludes taking us back to reveal what occurred that fateful day. Told in the third person I found the book to be a gripping read and hard to put down. The chapters were short which served to maintain pace as the investigation raced against the unidentified killer determined, it seemed to eliminate this team. The book concluded well but kept me guessing until the reveal, exactly how crime fiction should be.
We are immediately introduced to DI Alex Finn, very recently widowed but keen to return to work and head up this investigation. All eyes are on him, concerned yes, about his bereavement, but also concerned as to whether right now he has what it takes to lead this inquiry. A solid ‘copper’ I liked him and found him to be a strong, fair and engaging lead character. In contrast his new and somewhat prickly sidekick DC Mattie Paulsen was harder to warm to, but with a complicated backstory she was intriguing and together they made a solid team. The author’s background in scriptwriting was evident as he created a cast of well formed characters, and this was true for the entire supporting crew in this book
Impressive crime fiction which kept me hooked. I like this new detective team and recommend you to check this book out if you’re a fan of this genre. Me? I’m looking forward to more of Finn and Paulsen from their creator Will Shindler.
About the Author
Will Shindler has been a Broadcast Journalist for the BBC for over twenty-five years, spending a decade working in television drama as a scriptwriter on Born and Bred, The Bill and Doctors. His time on these leading prime time dramas has given him a rich grounding in authentic police procedure, powerful character development and gripping narratives. He currently combines reading the news on BBC Radio London with writing crime novels and has previously worked as a television presenter for HTV, a sports reporter for BBC Radio Five Live, and one of the stadium presenters at the London Olympics. The Burning Men is his first novel.
This is a blog tour celebrating the hardback publication of this stellar new crime series. Thank you to Jenny Platt for inviting me to be involved with the blog tour and providing me with a proof copy of the book. Do check out the rest of the tour, details below.